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SmartSTART Series: Start-up Basics. Experienced executive volunteers Seminars and workshops Free Mentoring In person Via e-mail Nationally: East Bay SCORE In person at several locations Web: About SCORE. East Bay SCORE. 48 experienced counselors

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Experienced executive volunteers

Seminars and workshops

Free Mentoring

In person

Via e-mail


East Bay SCORE

In person at several locations



East Bay SCORE

  • 48 experienced counselors

  • Serving: Alameda, Contra Costa & Solano Counties

  • E-mail: [email protected]

  • Located at:

    492 9th St. ,Ste. 350

    Oakland, CA 94607

    T: 510-273-6611

    Mentoring Locations: see your handout

Start-up Myths

Entrepreneurial Skills

Different Paths to Owning your Business

Marketing & Selling

Organization, Legal Structure, Insurance, Regulations

Funding and Cash Management

Business Plan

Next Steps


Your SCORE Mentors today:

Laszlo G. Bonnyay

Sylvia Cunningham

Gene Page

Antonio Rodrigues

James Clark

Briefly tell us a bit about you:

Your name

Your Business idea (s)

What you want to learn today

Nice to Meet You!

Myth: All I need is a good idea to be a successful entrepreneur.

Myth #1

Reality: A good idea is a great start, but it takes hard work, research, and planning plus successful plan execution to turn your idea into a profitable enterprise.

Myth #2

Myth: If you go out on your own, you won’t have to work so hard or such long hours.

Reality: You’ll probably work harder and longer than you’ve ever worked before, but you might enjoy it more. Exhaustion fades at the moment you proudly say, “I did this!”

Myth: You’ll be able to deduct everything so you don’t have to pay taxes.

Myth #3

Reality: You will pay taxes (income, sales, property, licenses, etc.)

Income taxes are based on your revenue less all business related expenses (“net” income).

Myth: If you work independently, you won’t have to report to a boss.

Myth #4

Reality: You don’t have a single boss, you have many: your clients and customers, your suppliers, city officials, etc. They each have specific needs and requirements. Your challenge is to keep all of them satisfied.

Myth: Business owners get to do the work they want to do and only what they find interesting.

Myth #5

Reality: Think again. You will have to wear many hats and juggle many skills, some of which may bore you or be downright challenging.

Myth: If you choose to be self-employed, you’ll be limited in what you can achieve, since you’ll be working alone.

Myth #6

Reality: There will be limitations but also plenty of opportunities. Be realistic, but don’t trap yourself with self-imposed limitations.

True or False:

Ninety percent of new businesses fail within the first four years?

Or maybe it’s 80%? Or 70%?

The Big Myth

Reality: Business Success

Percent of New Businesses after Four Years

(Source: SBA)

Sufficient capital (including working capital and reserves)

Ability to lead and manage multiple tasks.

Knowledge of and experience in the industry (Customers, competitors, opportunities)

Discipline…and flexibility

Willingness to learn from others

Critical Success Factors

A leader, a self-starter

Driven, decisive

Focused, flexible

Determined, Persistent

Disciplined, Organized

Resourceful, Responsible


Supportive family

The Entrepreneur

Is an Entrepreneur

Is the Leader/Strategist

Principal Marketer

Number One Salesman

Is the Chief Customer Advocate

The Owner/Founder

Different Ways to

Go into Business

Not hampered by previous image or technologies

Can choose location, name, logo, relationships

Can explore new markets and directions

See your dreams come true

No base, must build all new

Greater risk

No track record = difficulty in financing

See your dream become a nightmare

Start a New Business



Established clientele, suppliers, location

Known quantity, proven formula/name

Help in starting and running business

Can review records

Easier to obtain financing

Potential hidden issues: debts, poor reputation, loyalty to owner, out-of-date inventory or transfer issues

Valuation of the business

No guarantee that success will continue

No guarantee the business can be improved

Buy a Business



Proven image and product/service

Marketing/Sales power

Limited experience

Training, professional guidance

Continued consulting relationship

Access to other franchisees for help

Limited control – not full freedom to act

Franchise = royalty and other fees

Operational boundaries and limited choices

Binding contract

Franchisor problems are your problems

Buy a Franchise



Allows operation in a not-for-profit status – no owners

May qualify for government or foundation grants

Protection from liability for directors and employees

Can pay salaries to employees and consulting fees for contractors

Focus on educational or charitable purposes and cannot profit those who created the organization

All profits remain within the organization

Must apply and qualify for 501c3 status or sales tax exemption

Form a Non-Profit Corporation



Convenient work location

Less expensive

Flexible schedule

Tax Advantages** - Sq Ft of total home - Percentage of utilities

Zoning or deed restrictions

Isolation from others

Difficult financing

Family distractions

IRS scrutiny

Home-Based Business



On-line Business



  • Low conversion rates

  • Low barriers to entry = higher competition

  • Visitor expectations

  • No personal contact, so more limited sensory info

  • Lower startup costs

  • Expanded geographic reach

  • Convenience & accessibility

  • Flexibility


  • Actions taken to create and fulfill a demand for a product or service.

  • Commonly described as actions involving Product (or Service), Placement, Promotion, and Pricing

  • Also described as anything you do to get and keep a customer

  • Helps to communicate your desired business image.

Market Position-Your Value Proposition

  • What do customers value?

    • Convenience/Accessibility

    • Service

    • Quality

    • Reliability

  • How much will they pay?

  • How broad is the market?

  • What’s the competition?

    • Number of competitors

    • Basis of competition

Product offering



Service offering



Combined offerings


Unique features

Other benefits?

Product and/or Service


  • Part of the process to fulfill customer expectations

  • May involve partners or allies

  • Must be convenient

  • Includes sales outlets, direct shipment, service centers

  • Stores, merchandising are key

  • The web site may be the store for an on-line business

  • Supply chain definition carefully considered

To Achieve

Name recognition

Brand image

Brand identity


Public Relations

Action Incentives






Consumer reaction

Direct Cost

Total cost to serve



Credit terms and discounts

Size of operation and number of employees

Price and quality

Services provided

Reputation: strengths and weaknesses

Personal visits and observations

Suppliers & contractors

Other businesses in area

Know the Competition

Identifying Prospects

Qualifying Prospects

Making Initial Contact


Making presentations


Showing advantages

Preparing offerings

Closing deals


Please complete the

“Business Concept Feasibility Assessment”

in your handout

Details, Details:

Legal Forms, Insurance, Regulations, Advisors

Sole proprietorship


Suitable for most start-ups


Require careful preparation

MUST have formal agreement,

Limited Liability Company

MUST have formal agreement

Easy to create and maintain

Corporation (C or S)

Require more administration

Offer limited liability

Business Organization Forms

Property Casualty

General Liability

Errors and Omissions

Product Liability

Umbrella Liability

Worker’s Compensation

Employee Group Health

Life (Key employee, partners)

Business Interruption

Insurance Considerations

Licenses and approvals

Operating license

Local regulations

Fictitious names

Federal and State Labor Laws



Immigration Laws

Income Tax Withholding

Social Security Payments

Sales Tax Collections and Payments

Government Regulations




Insurance Agent

A “Sounding Board”

SCORE Mentor

Board of Advisors

Business Mentor

Board of Directors

Every Owner Needs Support:

Present or anticipated cost of living

Any income not from business

Outstanding debt

Amount in savings

Funds from Investors (e.g. friends and family)

Credit History

Assets for Collateral

Personal Financial Condition

Essential Considerations:

Tools and equipment

Leasehold improvements

Licenses and permits

Professional fees

Initial inventory

Working capital reserve fund

(Six to Twelve Months of Total

Operating Expenses)

Start-up Funding Needs




Taxes and fees


Loan interest/ principal



Operating Costs


Signifies Ownership

Sources of Capital


Does NOT Signify Ownership

  • Personal savings

  • Family and friends

  • Partners’ contributions

  • Profits retained in the business

  • Banks and credit unions*

  • Community Express

  • Micro Loans*

  • Peer-to-peer lending

  • Credit cards (not recommended)* Can be guaranteed by SBA

Lender’s View of Borrower

  • Character, Commitment

  • Credit rating

  • Cash flow

  • Collateral, Capital

  • Industry knowledge

  • Personal investment

  • Financial history

  • Financial projections

  • Management skills

  • Competition

Open a separate bank account for your business ASAP

Deposit all receipts “intact”

Use a petty cash fund

Separate sales tax receipts on your books

Hang on to cash as long as possible

Reconcile bank account monthly

Cash: Most Important Asset

Encourages an objective view

Becomes foundation for planning

Powerful management tool

Communicates owner’s ideas

Business Plan Importance

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Section One: The Business

Section Two:


Section Three:

Financial Forecasts

Section Four: Supporting Data

Business Plan Contents

Brief description of the business

How much money needed

How the money will be used

Whether you will seek a loan or investors

When you will repay loans

Executive Summary

Description of business

Product or service

Market need



Management and personnel

Use of new funds

Section 1: Business Summary

Target market: Is it large enough to be profitable?

How is your product or service different/better?

How is the market reached?

Costs involved?

Required pricing to make a profit?

Who are your competitors and where are they located?

Section 2 - Marketing Plan

Data you need is most likely available - the trick is to dig and find it!

Chambers of Commerce


Civic Organizations

Census Data



Trade Associations

Market Plan Data Sources

Capital equipment list dig and find it!

Income and expenses

Assets, liabilities & equity

Sources & applications of funds (cash flow)

Break-even calculation

Historical records (including variation analysis)

Section 3: Financial Forecasts

Next Steps dig and find it!

Now What? dig and find it!

  • If you’re not yet ready, consider deferring your decision about going into business for yourself; at least for now.

  • If you think you are ready to investigate more, write a description of your proposed business

    • Why do you want to be in business: What do you expect from it?

    • What is the scope of your business –

    • What is your business proposition –

    • What do you value in life – How does it apply to your business?

  • Study the feasibility of one or more business ideas and start work on a business plan

  • Get into the SmartSTART Program – meet with a mentor

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” dig and find it!

- Peter Drucker

Are you ready to create your future? Would you like support with taking the next step in starting your own successful business?

Sign-up for SmartSTART Series

Sign-up for the Remaining Workshops!

Start-up Basics dig and find it!

Business Concept

Marketing Plan

Financial Projections

Funding Sources & Next Steps

SmartSTART Series

Testing Your Business Ideas


Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Handout: dig and find it!

free CD for

Sessions II-V


Table of contents
Table of Contents dig and find it!

SmartSTART dig and find it! Series

Cal State CenterSan Ramon

Thu. Feb. 3 Sat. Feb. 12

Thu. Feb. 17 Sat. Feb 26

Thu. Mar. 3 Sat. Mar. 12

Thu. Mar. 17 Sat. Mar. 26

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Process Roadmap dig and find it!


Session 1:

Start-up Basics

Session 2:

Business Concept

Session 3:

Marketing Plan

Session 4:

Financial Projections

Session 5:

Funding Sources


Locations & Sign-Up dig and find it!

Cal State Center

1000 Broadway

Suite 109

Oakland, CA 94067

San Ramon

San Ramon Community Center

12501 Alcosta Boulevard

San Ramon, CA 94583

Sign-up at

or call 510-273-6611

Help Us Help You dig and find it!

Please Answer the Following Questions:

  • On a scale of 0 - 10, how likely is it that you would recommend this workshop to your friends and colleagues?

  • What is the primary reason for the answer you just gave us?

  • What is the most important improvement that would make you rate us closer to a 10?

Score east bay
SCORE East Bay dig and find it!

Thank You


Good Luck